DORTHE'S STORY: "I DON'T THINK THAT I WILL EVER RECOVER 100 PERCENT."
*The following story is from our friend Dorthe. Before you read her story, we wanted to draw your attention to her new website that is helping to spread the word about botulinum dangers worldwide. Please be sure to check it out, there is a translator button in the upper right corner to translate it into English. Our beautiful friend, is based all the way in Denmark! The link to her awesome website, will be repeated at the end of the post.
In 2014, I got 55 units of botulinum toxin injected into my forehead against a forehead wrinkle.
Immediately after (the same day) I got a headache and flu symptoms.
I also experienced shortly after (maybe the day after) something that "tightened" along the side of the head and in the back of the head. It came on suddenly. Maybe it was the nerves? I do not know. But the feeling that it "tightened" in the back of my head did not let go again.
For the next 3-4 years it felt like I had a "helmet" screwed into the skull where the screws had been tightened too tight. It also hurt a lot to turn my eyes. The "helmet" as well as the eye pain were incessant all 24 hours of the day. In addition, I had two different sized pupils and I also squinted a little, which I had never done before.
For the next 2 years I was almost asleep 24 hours a day with dizziness and pressure in my head. And, I had huge weight loss the first year due to nausea and lack of appetite.
My husband took over all the tasks of the house, including looking after the children, because I was too dizzy to get up and do anything. Some days I could only visit the toilet and go back again and nothing more. Hair washing was almost abandoned. I had a lot of nerve disorder in my scalp when I touched my hair. If I went for a little walk, it felt as if I had been concussed afterwards. So, I was up not for many walks.
I was injected by a licensed nurse at a regular plastic surgery clinic, which had many courses in the Botox industry. There was no medical consultation before which asked for my health. I was told that the side effects were minimal for a "cosmetic" dose. I was told that any side effects at all, would be like suffering from flu symptoms for just a few days.
Prior to my injections, I knew nothing about Botox, because it was my first time. I didn't even know that botulinum toxin was sold under different brands and manufactured by different manufacturers. I was told nothing about what brand of botulinum toxin I was given.
Over the next 2 years, I was admitted to the emergency department a couple of times because I was so ill. All of the doctors denied that the symptoms could be due to the toxin. The blood tests showed nothing abnormal except that I was missing fluid. There was a single blood test that stood out it was my allergy count (IgE), but it wasn't a test the doctors took into consideration.
Initially, I had telephone contact with the nurse who had given me the toxin, but she denied that the symptoms could be due to the toxin. This was despite the fact that the symptoms arose immediately after being injected. I want others to understand that the side effect list, as well as the black box warning were available to my injector. However, she failed to inform me about them.
Eventually, my doctor asked for a botulism test, and twice the blood tests were sent to the State Serum Institute, but they refused to test them for botulism. Instead, I was diagnosed with functional disorder.
A few years later, I also sought advice from a dermatologist who worked with the clinic where I received the injections. By this time, my face was already getting thinner. I had hourglass deformity, but the dermatologist refused to examine me. Instead, he sent me back to my own doctor.
It wasn't until 3 years after the injection that I found out where to find the leaflet for botulinum toxin. No one had ever told me until then about the leaflets. No doctors that I consulted with had ever read them either.
I collected some material via the internet about the side effects of botulinum toxin. I tried to have conversations with two neurologists about the side effects, but neither of them would have anything to do with an investigation. After each consultation, I was immediately terminated. Further, at one of our major hospitals, a neurologist said their "neurological department" (which itself makes botulinum injections) had NEVER heard of such side effects before.
Today, I know that the neurologists I saw did not speak the truth. The black box warning was issued as early as 2008, which was many years earlier. The neurologists I saw could have also easily found the side effects list in their database. They could have easily seen the negative symptoms that I described. But, they chose not to.
In the 5 years that I have been ill, it has not been possible to be examined for Botox injury by either neurologists or dermatologists. As you have read, I tried.
Today, I still have symptoms 5 years after: very dry eyes (almost no tear fluid), blurred vision, two different sized pupils, altered eye color, loss of fat behind and around the eyes, hair loss, hourglass deformity and fat atrophy of the face. Despite those symptoms, my health has improved during the past 5 years- but, sadly I don't think I will ever recover 100 percent.